Meddle, Part 1

July 26, 2014:

What begins as a security breach in the Triskelion turns into something much bigger and more concerning.

The Triskelion

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

TRISKELION
MEDBAY

"Well, Mr. Manning, your vital signs seem to be normal. I haven't been briefed on anything 'extra' regarding your episode, but your breathing, heart rate, and the like seem to be in tip top shape. Tell me, do you smoke? What's your diet like?" asks Dr. Fowling towards the former military man.

"If it's anything like his partner's, his diet is enough to make you chuck up," Steve Rogers says as he smiles towards Paul. "You look pretty good for a dead guy," he adds.

"Yes, I can - we can continue this later, Mr. Manning," says the doctor as he gathers his belongings.

"No, I don't smoke. And anything I can get my hands on." Paul answers and reaches for his shirt. "I have a very active metabolism." Which is putting it mildly. "I'm not sure dead really means anything, Steve. If you're conscious, self-aware and can feel pain, what's the difference between dead and alive? I just wasn't here."

After assignment, there are certain hoops one has to jump through. Debriefings, medical… and both Barton's managed to dodge.

Until now.

"It's upchuck, Cap," is given by the archer passing in the areas just beyond the exam tables as he pulls his t-shirt back on. He's got a little bandaid paper-taped to the inside of his elbow, and of course as the light material brushes it, it pulls on one side. With a face, Barton pushes back down on it, but it doesn't stay. In the next second, it's ripped off, wadded up, and shoved into his jeans pocket.

"Oh.. Manning.. how're you feeling?" Nothing like a little intrusiveness, right?

The Deputy Director may not have been present during the exam but she had been informed that it was going to happen. Clearing up a few other odds and ends that had been cluttering the digital desktop in her office beforehand, Hill eventually makes her way down to medical with her usual brisk and wholly unlady-like march. And..oh, how about that. Hawkeye's back, as well.

"Don't forget to check him for worms," she tells the nearest Doc."

Stopping in the doorway with hands on hips she looks between Manning and Rogers before commenting, "I'm starting to feel a little left out with this whole 'born again' reunion."

Now, she could ask Paul how he's feeling as well but Clint's got that covered. Also, his records are -right here- with the Doctor on duty. She goes to take a look for herself.

A second later and the Doc pulls the display away with a frown. Doctor-Patient confidentiality still means something to him.

Steve shakes his head folding his arms over his chest, "Don't go getting existential on me, Paulie, you know I don't like it when you talk smart on me."

He grins back as Clint enters the room, "Back when I was around, it was chuck up. How ya doin, Barton?"

When Hill enters, Cap straightens up a bit to attention. He gives her a nod.

*

Meanwhile, deep within the bowels of the communications hub of the Triskelion, a young man logs into a computer. It is not hers, though the credentials he's had created seem to fool the systems. He types away quickly but calmly.

"Nothing enough sleep and food won't cure, Barton." Paul replies to the agent. He's already gotten a good start on it. "Let her read it, Doc. She's only going to call up the file once you've entered it into the computers." His nod to Hill is both a greeting and an acknowledgement of reality. He smiles at Cap's comment. "You were probably more dead than I was, when you get right down to it."

"Things change, Cap," is said with a returning grin, which fades the moment he catches the familiar female voice 'Don't forget to check him for worms.' Barton takes a deep breath, and maybe his new mantra is 'count to three', but it's doubtful.

"If I was rabid…" the first person he'd bite would be Hill.

His manner comes back around, and he enters the area fully, making way for the doctor's exit. "So… hell. That means there actually is a place. Which probably means I might have to actually.. um.." Start going to Mass? No. "… start being nicer around here." That last bit? Oh… those blue eyes are right on Hill.

"But good. Still owe you Chinese, but 'drink'? How about Fri—" Nope. "Sunday night, we'll grab a few people.. Cap? Head out for a beer."

"Better than talking stupid to you, I'd imagine," Hill points out to Rogers. "Intelligence is fleeting in this century." He even gets a nod in return. It's kinda hard not to appreciate Steve, the guy's got it together.

With Paul's permission Hill turns a blank stare his way, saying "You know me so well" as she blindly reaches out. The datapad appears right where she can take it, too. It's like magic! "Technically Cap was in a natural form of cryosleep. If he wasn't the big guy that he is he would have become a heroic corpsicle and would probably be on display in a museum by now."

Is it still harsh if it's true..?

If he was rabid, here Hill arches a brow and peers up from the screen toward Clint. "Are you coming onto me, Barton?" Hmm, if there -is- a Hell could she assign him there next time instead of Turkey? Back to the screen, she automatically says "I call bullshit on that" when he suggest the idea of him being nicer.

"By all means, Rogers. Tag along and make sure they stay out of trouble."

"You always say the sweetest things, Paul," Steve says with a chuckle. "To cut down to the quick, what's your status? Are you ready to go?" Paul's already hinted that he's alright, but Cap wants him to be specific about his limitations.

Steve nods to Clint, "Yeah, that'd be great. I'd have someone I'd like to ask." He can't help but chuckle at Hill's remark but stops short as something catches his attention.

"Did you hear that, Hill?" Blue eyes meet Paul, then Clint. "The past twenty seconds the security check ins on our ear pieces-they're looped. Listen."

For anyone who has an ear piece in, there's a repetition that is clearly not the normal run of things. There's a message about systems clear, and another one authorizing a Helicarrier to change course out over the Atlantic.

*

A motorcycle exits the underground parking lot and begins to head out towards the main thorough-way. North, and then East towards the water.

*
"You do." Paul agrees, giving CLint a nod. "Chinese food and beer sounds good. And Sunday should work. I doubt I'll be back on duty that soon so any time should be fine." The paperwork for returning from the dead is monumental. He returns Hill's bland look though his contains a bit of amusement to it. "Yes, Steve. I'm fine. There's no permanent physical damage in Hell. It might make it so you can't be hurt as badly." Fortunately, he evene scaped the majority of that too. He heard nothing, not having an earbud issued by SHIELD so just gives Cap a curious look.

Damned earworm. It's actually harder for Clint to deal with both his hearing aide AND the earpiece that he probably should be wearing whenever, well… whenever. But that's why he's got a cellphone! He looks blankly at the Cap for a moment before digging into his pocket and bringing out the offending piece of SHIELD equipment.

Only now does he put it in, and there is a decided look of concentration on the archer's face. Shaking his head, Barton's expression is fixed, though there's something of frustration as he steps back in order to keep the (almost non-existant) ambient noise from overpowering. Now… now he nods slowly as he catches, and his mouth moves to time the loop.

Spinning around, Barton's got to get his equipment. Sidearm really doesn't cut it for him. Ever.

Hill's (blessedly) quiet for a moment as she pours over Paul's medical information when Cap raises his question, something which immediately causes her to stop reading and listen, really -listen- to her earpiece. How could that be..? That's just ridiculous—

Brown eyes widen.

She's got a fingertip to the device in a flash, already patching herself through to a different secured line. Redundant safety features, they're useful! "Lock down beta, full perimeter security sweep. No vehicles in or out. Have techs check out the systems, we've got a comms glitch. Base communications are compromised until further notice. This is not a drill."

Just like that the people in this medical room are officially the only people within the entire Division which she can trust. "Glad your health is in order, Manning. Now's your chance to return the favor." To everyone else, "Something's glitching the system, and that some-thing- was planted by a some-one.- Switch over to channel S-three-one, anything strikes you as unusual I want to know about it. Go hot if necessary but don't kill, I want answers."

Sara Pezzini has the best timing. She walks up to the medical room with a carry-out tray of coffees just as Hill gives the order to lock the place down. She doesn't speak for the first moment, glancing around the room to get a feel for the mood. "So…guess the coffee's going to get cold," she says, finding a place to set it down and pushing up her sleeves.

"Hey," Steve says to Sara as he begins walking by her just as soon as she enters the room.

It doesn't take long for it to be pieced together. A particularly ambitious computer tech unravels the mess the thief created in the security camera network, pieces together the binary, and replays it out on a large screen in a room full of people all dressed exactly the same

We can see the person escaping via motorcycle and heading out into the city.

MOMENTS LATER…

"Deputy Hill," a nervous man comes over the earpiece. "Several Quinjets are being prepped they should be ready in twenty seconds. The closest Helicarrier is 400 miles out over the Atlantic."

Down at the ground level a motorcycle roars loudly as Steve Rogers punches his bike as fast as it will go. Reaching towards his back he loosens his shield and puts it over two hooks at the front of the cycle just before he rides up on the guardrail and over the lock-down roadblock.

"I'm following by ground, Hill."

Down the road the first bike slides to a skid and is dropped unceremoniously as the man in the suit moves into a Black SUV and slams the door shut.

"What, no donuts?" Paul asks as Sara enters. Yes, there's an emergency but there's always time to wolf down a donut. No telling when you're going to need the extra energy. "Got an extra ear piece here?" he asks Hill and finishes buttoning his shirt. This isn't a Harlequin romance to go into battle with your shirt tails flying behind you no matter how dashing it might be. As Steve rushes out, he looks to Hill for instructions.

Barton's out the door in a second, barrelling down anyone who hasn't obeyed the 'general quarters' order. They shouldn't be in the damned hallway anyway! Grabbing his equipment, he's out his office door again, heading towards a helipad. "Gimme a bird.." is called in to his (now) in place mic. All he wants is a 2-man helo.. "Hill, coming with?"

It's the stairs.. and the moment Barton's on the helipad, he can see the roters starting to turn in their warm-up sequence. "It'll be fun.."

Uh huh.

"Cap, sing out the path so the detectives can have the route shut down…" which then means, "Sara, Paul.. get on the phone and coordinate route. Grab a truck," one of SHIELD's panel vans. "We'll need intel. Grab a hacker or something."

There's the natural slew of questions racing through Hill's mind. Who, where, what, why, and how badly is she going to -break the idiot- when she finds whomever is responsible. The hardened glare in her eyes would be completely Fury-approved. Oh, and Sara's here! "Just in time for another shitstorm. I hope you didn't have plans tonight, Pezzini."

She's sorely tempted to grab one of those coffees on her way out the door, though.

Four hundred miles out. That's enough to get a muttered curse from the Deputy Director. News on the Quinjets is good, at least. That Agent gets a nod, get 'em airborne and out on patrol. Every second lost decreases their odds of catching the culprit. The question that Clint raises gives her that half second hesitation. She -should- be here to coordinate their efforts, but she could be every bit as useful out -there- catching the bastard. Suddenly she wished May had been part of the immediate group. On the other hand, Clint handles the two Detectives like a pro. She'll nod to that, too. "Street-side cameras, access TIPIS and map out every intersection that bike's passed through." TIPIS being a sort of central nervous system throughout the city. High resolution cameras at every single traffic light.

She makes sure that both Paul and Sara have their own comms. She also makes a point of grabbing a pair of prototype rifles right out of R and D, it's a short trip out of her way and the halls are nice and clear. One of them gets passed to Clint when they reconverge.

She'll handle the flying if just because she doesn't trust anyone else to do it.

"Copy that Rogers, and don't talk to me about 'fun' right now, Barton. Shut up and strap in, we're gone."

"Like a donut'd put a dent in your hollow leg." Sara knows her partner well enough, though, that the comment is followed by a protein bar pulled from her pocket and tossed his way. "I stopped making plans years ago," she snorts to Hill with a wry smile, pulling out her phone to put in a call to dispatch on one ear while shoving the SHIELD comm in the other. "Dispatch, this is Pezzini. Tracking a-" She pauses for the report, then rattles off the latest intersection. "Keep an eye out, let us know where you see it. Anyone gets a chance to box them in, give it a go, but SHIELD's in pursuit, do not engage."

"Barton, I can't see anything," Cap responds through his radio as he tries to pick up speed. "But if you see a speeding motorcycle, be sure and let me know which way it went, eh?" Captain America is playing catchup, so isn't much help.

Following the cameras, and having agents review footage within the past handful of minutes, reveals the exchange from motorcycle to black SUV. While the bike is left in the street, the truck is heading north on FDR Drive.

Despite Sara's call, the SUV seems to outrun the Fuzz as it pulls off on the E20-E33 exit, clearly heading towards the water.

Paul grins at Sara and catches the bar. He tears it open and takes a bite as he puts the SHIELD comm in an ear. He waits till Sara's off the phone then heads for the stairs. At least they know where the parking is since they've driven here so many times in the last month. "Get someone to meet us down there with the keys!" he calls.

Clint's in the helo now, and grudgingly has given up the flight controls to Hill in preference to a weapon in hand. He's not strapped, though he's tethered at least. He may have to hang a -little- outside the aircraft in order to get off his shot.

Should it present itself.

"Cap.. we've got eyes," and at the same time, he's gesturing towards Hill in terms of direction. Now, he's bringing up a rifle, gauging the wind, speed… all that comes naturally when shooting his arrows. Here, he has to think just a little more.

*BANG!*

Sharp report comes from the helo, and it's followed up with, "Tracker.. we have a go. Follow on channel Charlie Echo 4." That's for the van as well as Cap on the motorcycle.

"What, you can't hotwire it?" Hill comms back to Paul in what -might- have been an attempt at stoic humor. Of course they'd send someone down there with the keys, those two cops can be useful and Hill can appreciate useful people.

They're heading toward the water. That..is actually very helpful. It'll keep the civilian and collateral risk from becoming an issue. "Anyone up for some fishing?" Turning to Clint next, she says "Tell me you brought your RC's."

And -bingo,- they've got a tracker. "Nice shot," she says in one of those rare moments of positive reinforcement. Back to comms, she updates the others. "Bird One's pushing forward for intercept." She's got a good idea of how this is going to play out. If Hawkeye can take the shot while this guy is changing vehicles a third time then they won't even need to worry about hitting a boat with a remote-control arrowhead.

Just ignore the sharply banking matte black chopper flying low over New York City, citizens. Nothing to see here.

Sara intercepts the key toss when someone meets them, giving the van a brief look. "This should be fun," she grins at Paul, diving into the drivers seat and kicking the van into gear. Vans aren't exactly sport cars, but then, neither are NYPD patrol cars. At least this way she gets the fun of not having all the wheels on the road at all times. A New Yorker born and bred, she zips through the streets like she's on a bike herself, cutting off cabbies and sports cars alike as she moves through obscure back roads to take the shortest path toward the fleeing van.

"I hope there's nothing sensitive in the back of this thing," she coughs as she takes a corner on two wheels. Her grin sort of takes any contrition out of the statement, though.

Hawkeye's long shot is a direct hit at the top of the vehicle, and amid the sparks the transmitter sits atop the black truck. The vehicle pulls to a stop at the edge of a pier just as the water in the East River begins to part. There's something down there. Something big.

Patching through the information to Captain America helps tremendously. He takes a short cut and cuts through several alleyways in order to try and cut the truck off at the pass. He doesn't make it, but he does cut down the distance and pulls towards the pier shortly afterwards.

If Barton is waiting for another vehicle switch, it comes, but not quite as SHIELD may have wanted. As a ship rises up and out of the water a bridge extends from the giant submarine, giving the SUV a pathway towards some form of hangar bay.

As it unfolds in front of Cap, he punches his motorcycle towards the pier, racing across the wooden planks, but clearly too slow. The drawbridge is retracting and there's no way he can make it.

The bike hits a jump and Cap leaps off the motorcycle, arms wide as he takes flight. The Harley falls into the river as he luckily catches the end of the retracting bridge. The SUV, meanwhile, is heading into the hangar.

At the question, Paul turns in his seat and looks into the back. "No, nothing sensitive." he assures Sara and turns back. "Just highly advanced electronics that probably cost more than both of us make in a year. So no pressure or anything." After a moment, he does add "No weapons though so just run them over if you need to."

Is that..?

"That's a goddamn sub," Hill says in complete disbelief over the comms. "They're not switching to a boat, they're switching to a damn-"

The -Hell?!-

"ROGERS, what are you doing-?!" Being a big damn hero, as usual… Atta boy, Steve. If Hill could have made it onboard, she would have. But..she can't.

Hill claims a long breath as she banks the chopper once more and drops altitude. Fast. "How crazy are you feeling today, Barton..?" She still has to fly the bird but if she can get another decorated Agent onboard that tub? Worth it. And Cap's already there so he can keep the archer in line. Always helpful knowing there's a competent sitter on duty.

All the same, she does look out for her agents. If he can't make it then he can't make it. She's betting that he -can- make it so she gives him a low fly-by in order to take his next shot, as it is.

The helo is quick; Hill is probably as much (if not more) of a hot-dogger as Clint is, only she's -allowed- to be. (RHIP, after all.)

That tether that's been keeping Barton attached to the helo is unattached, and he looks back at Hill. Blue eyes meet her own brown, and he grins; they both know what's going to happen next. "Better than Turkey."

The moment Cap makes the jump that even Eval Kneival would be proud of, and the moment the helo banks the right way, he's out, landing heavily and rolling on a shoulder to pull some of the g-s off his frame. Immediately he's up and making a grab for some purchase.

"Follow our coms," comes as a direction to the pair in the van. "You'll see us on your secondary." The van is full of screens, after all. Eventually? One will show the way (and have names..)

"So I shouldn't drive it into the river after the sub, right?" Sara replies to Paul. She's probably joking. Mostly. There's definitely some skidding, though, as they reach the scene just too late to even try to make a jump. "Damn," she curses, throwing the van into park and climbing into the back with all that delicate equipment. "Rolling back the tapes back here, going to see if we can catch where he came in, see if it tells us anything about who's sending you people with sub getaway drivers."

Captain America pulls himself up on the retracting draw bridge and gives Hawkeye a sardonic smirk. "Nice of you to show up, Barton." Getting to his feet now, he notices something strange. A small platoon of men in black with helmets and faceplates looking vaguely reptilian in their metal configuration coming towards them. If this was a submarine, surely they would just go back in and drown those on the surface of the sub.

If this was only a submarine.

But instead of going down lower, the machine continues to rise up. On either side, Hill will notice large engines that shift downwards at an angle. Almost like this thing, as big as any air craft carrier, is about to take flight.

The enemies on the deck begin to fire at Captain America and Hawkeye. The former uses his shield to block the first shots at the pair.

"A sub?" Paul echoes and shakes his head. He doesn't actually answer Sara right away. Instead, he asks "Do you think you could use your thing like a can opener and slice it open?" When the van comes to a halt, he climbs out and onto the roof of the van to get a better look. "These things need cherry pickers." Pause. "Sara? Not a sub. Aero-submersible." That's a word right? If not, it is now.

"Someone has to watch out for you, old man," Barton retorts.. and the second he's got his footing, the bow comes up and out, an arrow appearing nocked and ready seemingly by magic.

The shield.. well, if Barton's not had practice hiding behind it before, it sure as hell comes in handy now. One, two arrows are loosed in progression, and he knows he's got to be on the move in order to free up Cap to do what he does. So, he makes a running jump, leap, and ducks behind something that is now beginning to show itself, slipping on the wet deck so as to -slide- into place before he can get hit. (He meant to do that!)

"We're gonna need room for support!" is called out to Cap. If he knows Hill, she's going to want to either get in on the fun, or send a bunch of people who do.

Well crud, this is seriously going to divide their forces. The two stuck in the panel van aren't forgotten about, this would be the end of the line for them both if not for there being a chopper in the air. "Stand by ground team, coming around for a pickup. Do remember to lock the van on your way." Expensive equipment, in an armored shell, with deceptively high-tech locks. It'll be safe short of exposure to liberal amounts of high explosives.

By the time Hill banks the bird back around, however… She actually has nothing to say at first, staring blankly at the transforming submersible. (I thought we were the only ones with that kinda tech…)

Okay. She's got a SHIELD-modded chopper. Faster than the average, but will it be fast enough to land, retrieve, lift, -then- catch up? "Get ready to move fast you two, we've only got one shot at this. Rogers, Barton, secure an LZ on that tub, you've got three minutes!"

Once she can land for Sara and Paul she looks back to the pair and asks "Feeling confident enough to offer some fire support?" While they're in the air? Oh hell yes. All they need now is Flight of the Valkyries on loudspeaker.

"Sub-what?" Sara replies to Paul with an arch of her brow, leaning back over the seat to get a look at- "Oh. Well, that's new." Hill's voice comes over the comm, and she scrambles out of the van, hitting the locks on her way out. By the time she's pulling up onto the chopper, the Witchblade is already a pair of gauntlets and greaves, tendrils connecting them across her torso and creeping across her jaw. "I can shoot, or you can drop me down there," she answers Hill, moving where she can see the strange craft. "Your call."

"Careful now, Barton. You're about to hurt my feelings." Captain America and Hawkeye work in tandem; the former as a bowling ball type who runs through pins at will, while the latter shoots from afar, putting forces down. The sound around them gets louder and louder, and it's no longer just the bullets and their ricochets. The men try and clear the space, but it'll be a difficult landing job, that's for sure.

The ship now lifts up out of the water and begins to rise slowly up into the air. While it's highly impressive with its size, its cutting edge technology, and it's four giant turrets on each corner of it, it rises slow enough to allow both Paul and Sara to get aboard their chopper and get airborne.

Meanwhile, the Helicarrier some 400 miles away has turned and is heading for New York at top speeds. It closes on its adversary in double time as the mysterious ship heads straight for it as well. A quick check of the SHIELD data banks will show no intel on this monstrosity. Whatever they're going against, it's something new and unknown.

Paul jumps off the van as the chopper comes in and is in the doors as soon as it touches down. "I haven't used an assault rifle in years." But it's like a bicycle. "Give me what you've got." He's already attaching himself to the chopper.

"I promised the other old man I'd keep you safe."

Teamwork. It's a wonderful thing when experienced agents can see a field and know what has to be done, and who -can- do it. Cap's got the shield, which gives Barton the chance to pick off those who are trying to get a bead on him. Nothing like covering a six! It also gives him the chance to get higher, and spinning around, looses a grapple arrow in order to climb and get higher. One pull, two, hand over hand, and while he's doing it, he's a target- until he manages to get to something of a foothold, and then he's up and over on his ledge. Not without getting marked up, however; pings and bits of shrapnel from the metal around him is biting into the flesh of his arms, a nick or two on his face.

"This is one big damned secret."

Hill doesn't mind passing the experimental rifle back to Paul when he asks. It looks and acts just like a rifle but its shots won't kill, just knock people out for a nice long while. Something-something-night-night-prototype. She doesn't come up with this stuff, she just fields it.

Really, she could drop Pezzini into the middle of a firefight and she'd be okay..? Well, stranger things have happened. Just in the last twenty minutes, in fact. "I'm stating for the record that this was your suggestion and not mine in case you get shot," Hill replies while taking back to the skies in ways which normal choppers simply are not designed to do. The whine of protest from the rotors suggests that she's still pushing the upper limits of the craft.

"Hang in there guys, got a care package which should make your lives a little easier." Oh, and where's the nearest chute, just in case? Still behind her seat. Awesome. First priority is dropping off Sara. Second is to sweep and clear. Third is to land, preferably without having to land amidst a hail of smallarms fire. She's not particularly bullet-proof. She's suspecting that Paul isn't, either.

"Haven't killed me yet," Sara assures Hill as the Witchblade spreads in its strange, organic fashion into full armor, barbed and hooked at the joints into something much more threatening than anything the detective usually presents. Which doesn't mean she doesn't need a three-count to psych herself up for what comes next. Deep breath. One. Two…

On the mental count of three, she backs up and leaps out of the chopper, gritting her teeth to keep from screaming. Terrible decisions. Terrible decisions. For a moment it looks like she's going to fall short, until a pair of wings burst from between her shoulder blades, providing just enough lift to slam her directly into the side of the craft. "Ow. Thanks."

The Witchblade provides its own grappling hooks, holding her in place as Sara reaches one gauntleted hand into the side and, with a shriek of metal, starts peeling the thing open.

Cap and Hawkeye clear out the top landing pad of the ship amid the unconscious bodies of the foes they've easily discarded. The roof seems to be clear.

The pair are blocked from their entrance by a set of blast doors that guard the entrance past the hangar. Futuristic planes and vehicles sit in parked formation on either side of the pair. Surely this was just the initial party. "You got anything in your quiver that'll get these doors open?" Cap says to Barton looking over his shoulder.

The weapon Paul holds is unlike anything he's ever seen, most likely. It's just in time too. From his vantage point he can see Captain America and Hawkeye and those blast doors open wide for another bigger battalion of shock troops sets to descend upon the scene.

On the side of the ship, Witchblade slices into the hull and is able to get inside. She's broken into a room that holds plumbing and electronic equipment for the ship as a hole.

In the sky, Hill gets a message from the Admiral aboard the Helicarrier, "Hill, this is Ashdower. We should arrive in 10 minutes. Looks like your friend is headed towards us, so we'll meet in the middle. What are we looking at?"

Paul takes the rifle for a quick inspection then gets in position. He doesn't know it's got non-lethal rounds and, in fact, assumed just the opposite. These aren't innocent hostages. It takes a couple shots to get used to the aim and recoil but then he's more accurate, assuming the chopper doesn't throw his aim off. He might be experienced with rifles but providing air support is another matter. "I love the smell of napalm in the morning." How can one not think of that movie at the moment? As Sara jumps, he waits and watches till she slams into the side. "I think I saw that on Youtube, Pezzini. Except it ws a cat slamming into a wall."

Barton's got his perch, and checks his watch. They've got a minute or two before one of two things happen, in his estimation. Either Hill lands, and all hell breaks loose, or she doesn't and more of the bad guys arrive, and all hell breaks loose. Either way?

"I might have something," and Clint dials up the quiver for those speciality arrows. He's got a disrupter (which works really well!), which should give enough jolt for whatever lock to release so as to be able to open—

No sooner has Hawk set it to nock, than the door begins to open on its own. "Wasn't me! Take cover!"

Next arrow, instead, is an incindiary to land right in the middle of the mustering shock troops, (poor guy, and it wasn't even the knee!) exploding the moment it hits target, sending body parts flying.

Wince! "Any landing you can walk away from…" Hill mutters at Sara's introduction to the fight proper. Now then, she has -got- to land the chopper. "What's this thing got," she wonders while flipping through the various systems and controls. Oh… Oh, yes. This will do. She quickly reaches up for a headset lying in wait, dropping it into place with a small targeting HUD getting positioned over one eye.

General Electric .30 caliber minigun. Six barrels of fun, thousands of rounds per minute. Costs more to feed in sixty seconds than most people make with their annual salary. "Been a while," she thinks aloud while flipping the master switch to power up the motor.

So much for not killing anyone, but these guys are just armed goons. They're obstacles to the people, and the answers, that she -really- wants. Which means they're all expendable as hell. She lines up the crosshairs for a single sweep with a weapon that's every bit as terrifying now as it had been back in 'Nam.

"Hold tight ground team, doing a ..you're already done down there, aren't you." (Looks like it's -still- going to be a while…) "Scratch that, coming in for a landing," she adds while flicking the arming switch back off with an irritated swipe of her hand. They never let her have any fun.

Working carefully to land one bird onto a much bigger bird..sub..thing, Hill radios back "Good to hear from you, Admiral. Some yet unknown organization that's stupidly well funded, they've got a sub pretending to be a helicarrier." She's not about to tell them that these guys stole intel from the Triskelion, right now she's not in a very trusting sort of mood. "I've got forces on the deck, mind your engagement. We'd rather not be inside when you crack that nut wide open."

With the landing skids bracing beneath the chopper Hill gets a near straight view of those blast doors starting to open. Her hand moves back to the switch without another thought. "Here we go. Heads down, everyone!"

-BRRRRRRRT!-

"Tell me again where they trained you in magical suits of armor, Manning," Sara snarks back at her partner, taking a look around the room she's ended up in. "I seem to be in maintenance," she adds over the comm, starting to move carefully through the space, sweeping the area for locals. "Looks like plumbing and electric." If the room is clear, she'll head for the door, to make the next round of sweeps.

As the arrow that Hawkeye shoots explodes, Paul begins picking off villains left and right giving the pair important cover.

Steve brings his shield in front of his armored body as the incendiary device erupts, burning several members of this rogue group alive and going a long way to clear the area in front of them. One particularly unfortunate agent sees the flicker behind the flame too late and the lenses of his mask reflect a large star encircled by a red circle.

*SMACK*

"We're in," Cap radios to Hill as he looks over his shoulder towards Barton. "Come on, Young Buck. We don't have all day."

Meanwhile, as Hill approaches for her landing, the large turrets on two of the four corners turn towards the helicopter and begin firing back at her with large shells, looking to burst her out of the sky before she can land!

Sara sneaks out into a long hallway, nondescript but futuristic. Left or right, it's up to her.

"This is Ashdower. Copy Hill. We can't let this thing get out much farther though. Can you get out in ten minutes?"

"If you find the galley, grab some donuts." Paul suggests, with a grin at Sara's response. "Just watch out for the walls. I hear they're dangerous." As the chopper coming in for a landing, he keeps picking off targets that looks ot be giving his guys a hard time. "Sing out if you need a sni…" After a very brief pause, he grabs hold of the chopper no longer content to let the harness be his sole means of support. "Hill? Evasive action would be a really good idea."

Crap, turrets! Hill thought she had this landing covered! Already the inside of the chopper is filled with the pings and rattles of incoming projectiles, it's holding for the moment but it won't hold out forever. 'Bulletproof' and 'light enough for small aircraft use' are generally not found together.

"Copy Ashdower," she responds as a section of the cockpit's bubble suddenly distorts with several very large fractures lancing throughout the hardened material. "We'll make it work, do what you have to."

Ten minutes. Four AA turrets. One wounded chopper. She doesn't have the time -or- the resources for this engagement. Paul's suggestion isn't helping much in the growing stress of the situation, either. "To Hell with that. Barton! Grappel line on my niner! That rifle's stress-rated for use on a line, Manning. I'd suggest you do so!"

(This is gonna be so much paperwork…)

Hill throws the headset clear of herself and lines the chopper up with one of the turrets, locking in autopilot. Steady as she goes, like a bat outta Hell. "Everyone on deck might want to seek shelter!"

Barton is happy as nice as you please on his turret. It's not to be, however, when Cap begins the inexorable push forward. Shields.. shields are good!

One, two arrows are set for cover -after- his incendiary, and once down, makes a run for nearest cover- Steve and his shield.

"I'm coming, I'm coming-" The last two words are punctuated with the nocking and releasing of an arrow in their defense. The call from the radio, however, makes Hawkeye stop in place, duck in case anyone is getting a bead on his head, and a third arrow is released; grapple line. All for the DepDir. "Make sure you have gloves on. Buried and ready for you!"

Now he can turn around and follows Cap in.

Sara turns the corner as she peeks out of the maintenance room, turning toward whatever appeared to be the front of the ship and jogging in that direction. "For the record, how alive do we need these people?" she asks as she moves down the hall. "Just so I know when I get there."

"Hill, it's Rogers," Cap says as he patches through. There's no telling how many hundreds of soldiers they could have on this thing. On a long enough timeline we're all going to be killed. I'm not sure what they stole, but whatever it is it seems important. Putting this thing down from the inside might not allow us to know what they wanted, but it might be the only way we can ensure whatever this thing is doesn't live on to destroy some city in the future."

Of course, the headset has already been thrown to the side, and now they're using what Cap was hoping would be the getaway vehicle as one half of the brace of a rappel line.

Cap continues burrowing towards the center of the ship, looking for the power source. Without energy this thing will fall into the ocean. Recon teams will be able to get there quickly, given the Helicarrier is in pursuit. Hopefully.

Sara is forced back into a corner as a group of men rush by her in suits matching those Hawkeye and Captain America just got rid of. As she heads the other way she comes out into a wide warehouse style room with about the biggest cannon she could imagine. It hums loudly and glows at its creases in blue. A drop door lies beneath it and it seems as though this particular weapon is what gives this ship its punch.

Say what? The rifle might be stress rated but Paul sure as hell isn't. He hasn't done anything that stupid in over a decade. On the other hand, the chopper is a very large target and massively outgunned. Plus Hill is piloting so getting off of it might be a wise move. "If you get me killed again, you get to explain it to my Captain." he tells her before unclipping from the harness. To think, some people zip line for fun. Just not under fire. Using the rifle as a makeshit trolley, he slides down the rope, letting go and rolling straight to cover just before his feet hit the ground.

Advancing. Clint's not particularly good at this part. He's happiest in a nest, and this… this ain't it. The only thing left to do, really, is to move back to back with Rogers, covering their six, but his arrows aren't a never-ending supply. "Cap," Barton begins, "Hate to tell you this, buddy." It should give his partner an idea where silence once was, now comes the bark of a pistol. It's his hold-out. "Down to 2."

"So, it'd be really nice for some help!" is called in, seconding Rogers' call back.

Now, Barton has to get a little more creative with his support; slamming a door on the butt of a rifle before ducking out of the bullet spray. More nicks, his arms are dripping with little cuts; but upon opening the door once again, a fast boot to the face is in the works, and down the guys goes, thus freeing up a weapon. (One that has slightly more ammo than he does at the moment.)

"Fair enough!" Hill calls back to Paul. She's going to have to make do with something that perhaps isn't rated for this sort of use, pulling the chute off the back of the seat on her way through. Hopefully it'll hold long enough to reach the deck.

Trying to have a meaningful conversation while rappelling out of a chopper onto another airborne vehicle, both moving at different speeds, while being shot at, would be a wonderful detail to add to Hill's profile. If only she could. "Hold tight Rogers, breaking my legs!"

(Do I smell melting nylon..?)

THUD. Without any means of stopping all of that momentum the Deputy Director hits, buckles, and rolls across the deck with a less than pleased sound rushing out of her lungs. Touchdown!

"Everyone's onboard… Couldn't agree with you more, Rogers. Don't let them escape with the data. Hindenburg it if you have to, we've got less than ten minutes before the Ashdower does it for us!" Okay, how's Paul, did he make it down alive? She sure hopes so, wearily getting back to her feet then unholstering both of her sidearms. Following where Cap and Hawk went should be a no-brainer, just follow the path of mayhem they've left behind.

"You good to keep going, Manning? Might want to switch out weapons when you get the chance." Had she been expecting this kind of engagement she wouldn't have grabbed the bloody tranq rifle.

Sara presses back into a corner as the goons go marching by, continuing on once their footsteps have faded. When she reaches the cannon room, she slows, moving toward the thing to get a better look. "Guys, I think I found…something," she murmurs into the comm. "Looks like a giant cannon. Blue glow. Could probably do some major damage." The sounds of combat come in over the comm, and she pauses. "How do we feel about dropping it in the river?" she asks, scanning the area to see just how and where the cannon is attached to the ship.

"We're not going to last much longer, Barton." Two arrows? Things are not looking good. They need to find whatever is running this machine and take it down. Take it down now. Captain America dangerously flings his shield out in front of the pair and it bounces back and forth through the cramped quarters in a zig-zag, taking out four soldiers-it arrives back at his hand just in time for him to block some shots. "Feel like I'm in the middle of a rat-maze," he remarks, growing more and more worried that this might be the end for the both of them and whoever else might come into contact with this ship should they all fail.

By now, the ship is just out and over the Atlantic Ocean heading Eastward directly towards the Helicarrier in an epic game of chicken. From what Sara can gather, two claws are fastened to the cannon on either side. It appears that when the drop door opens, the arms fold downward and give the cannon a shot from underneath the belly of the ship. But now, because the fight is inside the machine, it's not being used. The personnel, additionally, have been re-routed.

Just after Hill lands upon the deck, the Helicopter explodes into a million shards of shrapnel and destruction. She can feel the heat on the back of her body as the helicopter ceases to exist in any real way.

Suddenly, Cap thinks of an idea as Sara's words give him a plan. "Hawkeye and I will take this diversion and keep them away from Witchblade down in the belly of the machine. Hill, see if you can hotwire one of those vehicles-preferably one that flies in that hangar. Manning, make sure you give her some cover and choose a spot where the fire won't hurt whatever she finds. Blade, see if you can't blow a hole in the side of this thing using the cannon. There must be some sort of control tower, but it will probably have a fail safe. See if you can't disarm it."

Teach your grandmother how to suck eggs, why don't you Hill? Paul's already grabbed an enemy rifle and is pulling the clips from several others near it. "Don't have much choice about it, do I? I"m pretty sure this makes us even." Hell, it pushes the balance into his column even. Coming to pick him up in Turkey and being fired upon isn't even close to assaulting a flying Leviathan. "So just how are we going to get off this thing before it goes up in flames?" Poking his head up, he sprays a short burst at a couple of enemies firing at Clint. "Can you fire it through the deck, Sara?" Seems he and Cap have the same idea. They'd make a great couple. Looking over at Hill, he says "Move out. I've got you covered."

Clint's looking a little worse for wear, and nods, drawing breath in. "Yeah," he mutters. Still, even with an intense expression as he has, he's got time for a ghost of a lopsided smile. "We got this." Right?

Steve's corridor clearing toss does give them a couple of extra moments, added to by thirty or so seconds as the helo explodes outside on the main deck. He can feel the ship rock in the explosion, but.. nothing has changed appreciably for the pair within. (Other than those 30 seconds. No diversions off their attack!)

"I'm always looking for maps for the helicarrier," comes as a response. "Could always…" and as they push down the corridor, Barton looks for hatches and yanks them shut before spinning the lock. Now, to come after them, they've got to come either from behind, which Barton has covered, or from the front. Each time that shield goes, however, Barton flattens himself along the wall, making himself the smallest target as possible. If he dies, there's no one going to be pushing for him to come back.

"River would be good. Taking important components would be better." Glowing blue, huh?

"What the hell kinda comeback is that, Man-" Hill starts in before reflexively shielding herself from the fire and shrapnel that bombards the deck in its entirety. Light armor helps, to a point. The numerous spots all across one side of her body now screaming at her in silent protest proves that she'll be making another trip down to medical today. If she lives through this.

Normally she would get a little ornery with someone else issuing her orders. Maybe she's too damn lenient when dealing with the Captain but he -is- a good leader. It's right in his profile! It would be in very poor taste for her to counter what sounds to be a sound plan. "Copy, we're on it!" Then to Paul, motioning toward the skies ahead with one of her sidearms, "We've got a Helicarrier not eight minutes out! If they can't catch us out of the air then I guess I won't have to tell your Captain anything because we'll be dead together!"

It had been a risky call, she knew it. Maybe not one for the better. In her mind it had been the better route. Sitting dead ducks in a wounded chopper or chance giving themselves a few extra minutes to kick enemy ass. They're still alive so she's feeling they're already ahead of the game. Fury's welcome to chew her out for it later if there's anything left of her.

"I'm on point," she tells Paul while running toward the nearest access point. She put him in enough danger already, letting him take primary bulletsponge duty simply isn't going to happen.

"Sure, why not?" Sara replies to Paul and Steve alike, sarcasm coming through loud and clear. Whatever she mutters afterward, a little less clear. Probably something about police academy and not having a PhD. Not that it stops her from going to take a look at the weapon itself. For all her protests, she's not quite as oblivious as she pretends to be. She didn't make detective in two years by not being able to figure things out. "Everybody start saying your prayers. I've got no idea how much kick this thing has."

Captain America looks back at Barton and gives a nod, "Left up here. We're going to head back towards the bridge. It's up to Witchblade now." He radios back towards Hill, "Expect an even bigger party." The lack of arrows has Cap worried and he takes extra care making sure that he gives those who get in their way the bulldozing treatment. They're extremely vulnerable without suppressive fire.

Outside Paul does pretty well to draw the enemy fire away from Maria. In front of her are a couple options. A jet: It wouldn't fit them all, but it would make get away a breeze most likely. A chopper: Would fit everyone, but would be rather slow. Then some form of assault helicopter that looks like, with its jet engines, might be exactly what they need.

Though the machine is designed to be unable to 'shoot itself' that equipment is easily rendered useless with a simple tug of a plug. It's made for accidents, not purposeful acts of sedition. Here in the stomach of the ship it's quiet, all of the action on the top. It's just Sara and a big friggen gun.

Paul gives Hill a few moments to move forward while he's covering her then starts after her. He fires off a few shots at those still alive then grunts as he gets hit in the side. Fortunately, it's a shallow through and through. An inch to the side and it would have missed him completely. Course, an inch to the other side and it would have hit his liver. He takes cover in the entrance to the hangar as Hill makes her choice. "Seven minutes." Or is it six. Hurry hurry hurry.

Hell, Barton's not all that thrilled about not having arrows. It's not something he comes across every mission… the 'you're the front line, let's go over the hill, men!' approach. To make up for his shortcoming there, at least he's making sure that Cap's six is covered. The least he can do!

It's slow, for damned sure, and with the occasional bullet grazing across the top and such, it's not a fun advance. At one point, as they're doubling back, there are more than a few that come out from one of the side corridors, and Barton ends up emptying whatever is left in the weapon he's picked up along the way. It's not without its damage, however, as the archer gets pushed against the wall as a bullet lodges into his shoulder. "Sonofa…" is hissed. "Goddammit.. why the hell.." Blood wells from the spot; oozing from the deceptively small hole that really shouldn't be there. A hand rises to the spot, only to be pulled away with a slick sheen of red.

Through the advancing, Barton's looking for good weapons to pull, and more often than not, coming up empty.

"Okay, could really use some luck."

"Careful!" Hill yells back to Paul. "I'm not letting you die up here, dammit!" It sounds like she even means it, too! Now inside of the hangar she keeps on the speed, easily darting around and gunning down anyone foolish enough to still be in the area. An errant shot strikes a tail rotor on one chopper, immediately removing that one from her list of options.

Jets are nice and all, but..no. Speed she's not too worried about. But, if she can get seating for five -and- have some extra guns and armor? No contest!

"Found us a new bird," she radios in. "Just gotta find the bay door controls. Three turrets still hot topside if anyone finds some plugs to pull!" Pre-flight checks can be made but she's not starting the rotors until the doors are open, that'd just be asking for trouble. Like an oversized blender on 'frappe.' "Manning, can you find the hangar controls?" And get -away- from the automatic fire engagements? 'Cause that'd just be super. No live fire exercises while she's not around to supervise!

"You guys all still alive up there?" Sara asks as she gets a good look at the machine, leaning down to pull the plug on the regulation system. "Because I'm pretty sure I can fire at will down here. Going to be kicking the ant hill, though. Give me the word when you're ready."

"Do it!" yells Captain America as he and Hawkeye burst out into the clearing of a hangar, with three men going flying out in front of them as the Captain knocks them away. He arrives at the gunboat just after Hill, "What will it take to get this thing flying? Will we be able to take off if the ship is going down? We've got to wait for Pezzini."

"I'm going to guess it's in that control room over there." Paul answers after a quick look around. "Want me to go play door man or should I stay here and keep the soldiers from rushing in and killing us?" Translation: I just got shot and it hurts. "Just fire the damn thing and get over here. We're bugging out. Barton! Control room's over there. Open the doors then shoot the controls." The three Steve just knocked down? Get shot. Clint can use one of their weapons.

Barton run/stumbles following Cap, holding an empty weapon in his right hand. It's a lift, shoot exercise, but he's little a little worse for wear than Rogers is, go figure. His forward momentum is interrupted, however, by Manning's shout out. "Control room.." Right. This is where he's going to die, he knows it.

Spinning around, that weapon rises, looking just 'not right' to any who may have ever worked with the man. He's a lefty using his right hand to shoot. Why is evident, with the welling wound to the shoulder.

"On it. On my call, get the hell out. I'll figure something out." There are other aircraft. "Pezzini, get a move on!" Barton's last man out, and he'll be turning out the lights, making sure the doors are closed and locked.

And what a fine question that is! Hill had been trying to figure that out for herself. It's bigger and heavier than the other choppers, which..isn't so great. It isn't SHIELD-issued, so it's probably not quite as powerful or capable. That said…

"Probably!"

Now that the others are all falling into the hangar there's one easy call for her to make. "Get your ass to the bird, Manning! Fall back now!" Sheesh, what does she have to do to get him -out- of the shooting gallery? "Dammit, -someone- needs to get those doors open and -now!- These choppers don't have garage door openers, people!"

(This is a mess… This is -such- a mess and I'm endangering civilians in the middle of it and we're going to have unanswered questions going straight to the bottom of the ocean and I am -not- gonna go diving in after them..!)

She's also not leaving without everyone onboard. "Yes, Pezzini, -please- come to the flight deck, your three o'clock to LaGuardia is nearly ready for take-off. Barton, don't you -dare-…" Twitch. "Cut the chat and do your job, you're -not getting left behind!-" she snaps back, taking a huge gamble and getting the rotors in motion before she jumps out in order to help cover the doorway with her sidearms.

"Go, people," Sara says as she puts a finger over the fire button. "I've been meaning to figure out how to use the wings on this thing, not going to get a better chance than over the Atlantic, right?" She doesn't really wait for an answer on that, though. Before anyone can reply, she ducks her shoulder against one ear, covers the other, and hits the button.

Blue blasts erupt from the cannon and blow the back of the ship completely away. There's a large groan and the entire thing shifts to the side, throwing all of the heroes. Immediately the ship begins to lose altitude and there's a suction of air, pulling Sara out of the hole she created. Men caught in the hallway flow out past her, screaming out into the sky as the tilting view of the ocean shifts continually.

There's screeching and groaning as the planes, trucks, vans, SUVs, planes and other vehicles in the hanger slide across the floor. Hill's choice in getaway vehicles still looks as though it's okay for takeoff but it had better happen like right now.

"You're going to leave Pezzini?" Cap asks incredulously, having no idea about the wings. "You're crazy." The SHIELD comes up and onto his back as it looks as though he might go back after her, until Sara's words stop him mid stride.

Paul starts backing up but he's slower than he was, probably due to the blood soaking the shirt and pants on his left side. It hit nothing vital but it's bleeding a lot, if not dangerously so. "Don't be an ass, Barton. Open the fucking doors, shoot the controls out then get your ass on board. Don't make me come get you." And speaking of coming and getting… "You better be right about that, Pezzini. If you die, I'm going to kill you if I have to come get you." And then the world tilts to its side and he can't stay on his feet, sliding till he slams up against the bulkhead. Ow.

Ah, hell.. and as the last round is chambered and shot, Barton makes it to the control room. Leaning on the board, he takes a deep breath and starts pushing buttons, looking for the sound of big damned doors grinding open. Green to red, green to red.. perfect.

In the next moment, the archer picks up a rolly chair that managed to find its way across the room, and smashes it onto the console. Lots of green to red now!

Turning around once that's complete, there's that bit of adrenaline that shoots through his body, and he barrels back to the chopper, having to jump over sudden obstacles along the way. Footing is lost once, twice as the ship creaks and sways, but coming out into the hanger, he sees the helo, blades rotating.. engine warm and ready.

Damn.. pain radiates along his face, and his side is pounding. Now or never, Barton… A leap is made for the bay doors off a determined spring, one hand grabbing at any purchase, and yelling, "I'm on.. get the hell out of here!"

And now one of the civilians on-scene is telling them to leave without her. Hill slams one of her pistols against a nearby fuselage with a very enthusiastic curse. Very, -very- enthusiastic. Leaving anyone behind, for any reason, is among the very last things she would do. Ever. But it's out of her hands. She no longer has the choice. Either everyone dies or Sara gets to take her life into her own hands.

There's no time to decide. She dives back in behind the controls.

Perfect timing, too. As the ship around them starts to pitch there's a whine from the new chopper as the rotors strain to pick up speed and keep it level. It doesn't have a lot of breathing room, another few degrees and it's going to shear those blades clean off against the ceiling. The chopper's clearly not very pleased about any of this any more than its pilot.

Just how fast are those doors opening? "Oh God, this is gonna be a tight fit," the DepDir groans through a clenched jaw. All of their lives are now in her hands. She won't let them down.

She -can't- let them down.

All aboard, wheels off the pad.

Sara goes flying out with the change in pressure inside the chamber, the Witchblade layering metal around her in something heavier and more protective than her usual gear. Thank God for height and speed, Sara has time to think before the sensation of falling really sinks in. For a long, stomach-sinking moment, nothing happens. Just more falling. And right when she's about ready to start bracing herself for impact? That's when it happens.

Out come the wings, like a wire framework of dragon-wings overset with something that shimmers like a thin sheen of the jewels in her armor. "Oh shit, it worked!" she exclaims, gliding for a long moment before swooping up - accidentally - on a thermal. "I have no idea where I'm at, but it's in the air."

"Roger that, Pezzini," comes the call on the other end of her comunit. "The Helicarrier will be there to bring you in via a Quinjet in 14 seconds. Coming up on your left."

As the mysterious submersible falls out of the sky, the Assault Helicopter pulls up and outwards, away from the wreckage as it splashes into the ocean. Captain America has broken open the first aid materials as is applying pressure on the assorted wounds, but his eyes are out, looking into the sky, trying to spot Witchblade."

Before the day is through, SHIELD will have a response team diving into the wreckage and beginning an investigation. Whatever was stolen went down with the ship, whoever they were will likely be found in the upcoming days.

Paul's content to just lie where he is though he does reach for a hand hold as the helicopter takes off. He's less likely to be thrown from his feet again when he's on the floor. When Sara reports her status, he lets out a sigh of relief. "It would probably be a good idea to have a medic standing by." he suggests. "I'm type A positive."

After pulling dangling legs in, Clint finds a spot in the bay to rest his back on. Sitting on the floor of the helo, he puts his head between his knees and breathes, shoulders rising with each breath, hand on his seeping shoulder. The talk around him is all buzz, though he gets the idea that Pezzini is safe; always good, that. "Pretty sure they've worked that out." Hell, the docs probably know what his DNA ate for dinner last night. "More work when we get home. Now we get to find out what really happened."

The words being muttered in rapid-fire under Hill's breath are full of relief, and probably best left unheard. Beneath the standard issue white gloves are a pair of hands which have turned almost as white around the flight stick. What's more obvious is that she's also looking somewhat pale in her face.

"We're clear… Hill to Ashdower..we're clear." And only just. She swore she could hear something scraping on their way through. Somehow even Sara managed to pull through, though Maria doesn't have the energy to chew her out over the comms about being surprised that it worked. Which means the cop with the Witchblade took the jump on nothing more than a theory. Suicidal, far as she's concerned. But..it worked. This time she's just gonna ride with that.

Mechanically reaching out to make a few adjustments with the controls, Hill opens communications with the Triskelion and starts working on bringing some sense of order back to the Division in a voice that's lost any sense of an emotional spark.

"Coming in for a landing," Sara replies as the jet comes closer. There are a few moments of uncertainty there, definitely. Fine maneuvering in the wake of what the jet itself does to the air. She ends up circling around a few times. But eventually she manages to tumble in, staying right where she is on the floor with a laugh. "All right. So, that was more fun than Chinese takeout on the couch, right, guys?"

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